Ever dreamt of running your own bookshop? Want to pass on those recommendations to the world and not just your friends and family? Fancy joining forces in the battle against the big, bad Amazon? Well, now you can do all of those things with Penguin Random House’s new initiative My Independent Bookshop. No need to spend time tracking down the perfect premises or have a big fat millstone of a bank loan round your neck all you have to do is visit My Independent Bookshop and follow some simple directions. You’ll need three favourite books for your opening stock plus short reviews or you can use the publishers’ synopses. You’ll be able to add eight more when you’re ready and you can change them whenever you want. You’ll get to choose your name, what sort of shelves you want and, best of all, which independent bookshop you want to be linked to. Readers can order books from your shop – the orders are funnelled through Hive who support a network of independent bookshops across the UK – and the bookshop you’re linked to will get a small proportion of the value of the sales.
I’ve set up an A Life in Books store – just seven titles so far, but I’ll be working on that – and I’ve linked to Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, my lovely local independent. It’s years since I’ve worked in a bookshop but I’m still in touch with my inner bookseller. If you want to find yours, visit My Independent Bookshop and set up shop. It’s easy, fun and not only do you get bookish rewards and the chance to enter competitions you may find you get an enormous amount of satisfaction. Let me know if you open a shop, I’d love to drop in, but if you decide you just want to browse there are lots of shops already open.